DROPPING ITS inhibition towards private investment in education, infrastructure development and opposition to modern technology, the CPI(M) has come out with a draft policy which would enable the party-led government in Kerala to embrace massive private investment in various sectors. The draft policy for Kerala development was presented by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the ongoing state conference of the party in Kochi.
Explaining the draft policy, party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters that the win in last year’s Assembly elections set the stage for the next level of development in the state. The document aims at uplifting the standard of living in Kerala on a par with developed, middle-income countries by the next 25 years.
Modern technology and latest knowhow from across the world should be exploited to lead Kerala into a new world of development, Balakrishnan said.
“The higher education sector should be strengthened with private investment. Latest advancements in science and technology should be made accessible for the common man. If required, necessary legislation would be introduced to implement the draft policy, which would be debated in the conference,’’ he said.
He said new educational institutions should be started within the next five years to increase the state’s gross enrollment ratio from 37 per cent to 50 per cent. The state should have centres of excellence which are on a par with premier institutions abroad.
The CPI(M) politburo member said the present finances of the state is in crisis due to the wrong policies of the central government. “In order to ensure that development is not affected, the state would have to avail loans which do not hurt the interest of the state,” he said.
Balakrishnan said traditional industries, where lakhs of people are employed, have to be modernised after deliberations with the trade unions to protect the interest of workers.
“While availing private investment for development, the party is of the view that it should protect the interest of the state and ensure social justice. The CPI(M) is not against private investment, but that should be allowed only with a government regulation,’’ he said. Balakrishnan said the draft policy for development of Kerala over the next 25 years did not deviate from the Left politics. “Our opposition towards the private investment in education was to ensure social justice for the weaker sections. If self-financing colleges in Kerala are admitting students from merit list, the credit should go to the CPI(M) which had led several agitations,’’ he said.